Short-term future of grassroots music venues in England assured by Culture Recovery Fund grants

The Troubadour in Earls Court, London

135 grassroots music venues across England are the first recipients of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

The £3.36m Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund is being shared among venues which applied for support to survive the imminent risk of collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Recipients of the fund include The Troubadour in London, where Adele and Ed Sheeran performed in the early days of their career, as well as The Jacaranda in Liverpool, where The Beatles played early rehearsals and one of their first gigs.

The accelerated funding has been delivered by Arts Council England to save grassroots venues previously facing insolvency. The emergency grants of up to £80,000 will cover on-going running costs incurred during closure, including rent and utilities, so that some of the country’s most vulnerable venues can survive.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

‘Grassroots music venues are where the magic starts and these emergency grants from our £1.57bn fund will ensure these music venues survive to create the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of the future.

‘I encourage music fans to help too by supporting music and cultural events as they start to get going again. We need a collective effort to help the things we love through Covid.’

Darren Henley, Arts Council England CEO, said:

‘This much-welcomed emergency investment from the government into grassroots music venues will have a profoundly positive impact on England’s music ecology, and today’s news will mean a great deal to the many artists, audiences and communities they serve across the country.

‘I’m pleased that the Arts Council has been able to use its expertise to administer this fund, ensuring that we are supporting music venues in these challenging times.’

Support our freelance community

Indhu Rubasingham, Artistic Director, Kiln Theatre, said:

‘The impact of Covid-19 on our industry has been seismic, and the Government emergency funding is crucial to help towards getting our industry back on its feet.

‘We deeply need this government support… It is incumbent upon us a sector that we in turn support our freelance community, as they are as integral to our recovery as this funding is.’

Breathing space

Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said:

‘We warmly welcome this first distribution from the Culture Recovery Fund which will ensure that the short term future of these venues is secured while we continue to work on how we can ensure their long term sustainability. Both DCMS and Arts Council England have worked very quickly to fully understand the imminent risk of permanent closure faced by a significant number of grassroots music venues across the country, and the funding they’ve brought forward creates a real breathing space for under-pressure venues.’


A full list of the grants awarded can be downloaded here.

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